MOCKUMENTARY FUBAR (15) 77min .0.
Like some kind of diseased reinterpretation of Wayne’s World where headbangers are neitherjoyous, kind nor particularly
community spirited, this low budget Canadian independent spoof documentary reinterprets a million forgotten Saturday Night Live routines with occasionally hilarious effects. Dean Murdoch (Paul Spense) and Terry Cahill live in Calgary, they love shotgunning cans of beers, burning shit, listening to heavy metal and speed growing their classic Canadian ‘hockey hair’ mullets. Farrel Mitchener (Gordon Skilling) is an earnest young documentarian who wants to capture this spurious post-youth demographic in his new film. It is a relationship that has everything working against it on class, cultural and moral grounds, that is until Dean gets some very bad news from his doctor (Dr SC Lim).
It’s not difficult to see why old Justin Hawkins from the Darkness has got on board in marketing this dark little comedy film. Dean and Terry have crawled out of the same hole as that band - they are nihilistic, silly, mutant small town morons who are defined more by their ability to embarrass their friends than by their contribution to society in general. Not that there is anything at all wrong with that - and the gloriously stupid levels of debauchery reached in this film will
have a strange resonance for anyone who lived through the Thatcherite bedsit stinkfest that was pre-Acid House (and more importantly,
Ecstasy rich) Britain.
Headbangers and shotgunned beers
As mockumentaries go, this ranks somewhere alongside the Adrian Edmondson’s Comic Strip Presents script outing Bad News Tour, writer and director Michael Dowse clearly sharing Edmondson’s disaffection and hatred for the parochial and self aggrandising.
In North American cinema terms FUBAR really only shares a precedent with Michael Smile Ritchie’s rarely seen but excellent mockumentary The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleading Murdering Mom. In other words, it belongs to a very thin genre of reckless abandon and mean spirited small town gaze, which makes this delightfully short film more than welcome. Interestingly, FUBAR shares the same plot twist as that of the recent romantic drama Japanese Story. Just in case you wondered FUBAR stands for, it’s ‘fucked up beyond all recognition’. Dude, this is one harsh no brainer. Something akin to watching a tragic car crash
unfold in slow motion. (Paul Dale)
I Out on selected release now.
False teeth and a Deep South do not
COME-DY HEIST Tl lRILtL—H REMAKE
THE LADYKILLERS (15) 104min 0.
Oh Coens. Where Art Thou? After the bland indigi'iities of Intolerable Cruelty. the Coen brothers return V/IIll this uncalled for remake of the 19:35 Ealing clasSic. The task is siiiiultaneOusly beneath them and out of reach, The Coens have such a distinctive style they hardly need to bother With such a specific homage, yet the unsure
an Ealing classic remake make
comic timing on show here would suggest that they couldn't piss their name in the snow in comparison with original director Alexander Mackendrick.
Tom Hanks gleefully EldjllSIS his false teeth to play a Southern variation of Alec Guinness 'professor'. With Irma P Hall's tough evangelism repIaCing Katie Johnson's frailness as the ‘formidable antagonist' of a landlady who stands between Hanks' gang and stolen C'lSlllO
money. Predictable JOkCS about dim-witted criminals posmg as musiCians follow. plus bouts of irritable bowel syndrome. a dog in a gas mask and various other low-brow Coen-style riffs on familiar comic themes.
That said. the relocation to the Deep SOuth does provide the space for some welcome satirical iibes at black culture. mainly through Marlon Wayans' foulmouthed Janitor Gawain McSam, and the fresh setting provides an eXCuse for a great gospel soundtrack too. But at this larce's centre. Hanks gives a misguided performance. drooling over his proiitinciation of words like ‘ensemble' and ‘rococo' with a relish that Suggests he understands the comedy value in them, but hasn't got the virtuosny to make them funny to anyone other that himself. They've always made self-referential films. but the sooner the Coens stop playing hide and seek pastiche With themselves and make something original. the better. (Eddie Harrison)
I General release from Fri 25 Jun.
PERIOD DRAMA MONSIEUR N (12A) 120min coo
In Alan Taylor's The Emperor 's New Clothes we heard the one abOut Napoleon escaping from St Helena and starting a new life as a filthy commoner. Monsieur N retreads this territory but whereas Ian Holm played his Napoleon Bonapart for laughs. Normandy actor Philippe Torreton gives the part gravitas in a movie that takes all the conspiracy theories surrounding this despot's eXile in St Helena very. very seriously.
Seriousness is one thing we don't expect from director Antoine de Caunes. Yes peeps. the man who put the trash in Eurotrash has lost the bimbos and the satirical tone but not his eye for abSurd. far out stories. This one is told through the eyes of aide— de-camp BaSil Heathcote (Jay Rodanl who. seeing Napoleon's corpse being returned to Paris. remembers life with the general on the sumptuous island 20 years before.
i Shingles and conspiracy theories
The impartial observer as doubting Thomas is a standard tool for conspiracy movies but they usually have a zealous desire to prove a point. De Caunes. however. uses the deVice as a means to explore the plethora of tales about Napoleon's exile. including romantic interludes and a battle of Wills With uptight Governor Lowe (Richard E Grant). lntriguingly. the film explores the fabulist claims withOuI entering the world of fantasy. but nearly all the avenues explored. especially in the flabby middle section of the film, seem to be heading nowhere in particular. Still, you cannot help but admire the beautifully shot views and the solid performances. (Kaleem Aftabl I GFF Glasgow and Fl/lll/lOL/SC. Edinburgh from Fri 1 1 Jun.
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